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Thread: 454 Redhawk range report and 1st impressons

  1. #1
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    Default 454 Redhawk range report and 1st impressons

    I managed to find some time last night to prep some new starline brass and load up some rounds this morning for a quick trip to the range. All I can say is this thing shoots great. Boolit is a 355gr wfn that I cast from a custom LBT mold. 5/1 ww/lino water dropped . BHN is 28. Lubed with my homemade besswax/vasaline lube, sized to .452. My 45 Colt load is 21.5 gr H110. It's 1150 fps in the 4" 45 Colt Redhawk, 1200 in my 7.5" SBH Hunter. I used Hodgdon load data for the 360gr CP. This boolit acutally encroaches less in the case than the 360 though. Here's a pic of the 2. 355wfn on left, 360 cast performance on right.



    For the 454 loads I used the Hodgdon data for the 360cp as a guide. I loaded 23, 24 and 25 gr. 24 is actually max load. The first thing I noticed was recoil, or lack of it compared to the 45 Colt load. I was expecting a noticeable difference but after shooting it's a non-issue. At least with these loads. More on that later.

    I was shooting single action, 25yds, seated, resting on my forearms/wrists.

    23 gr grouped at about inches for 5 rounds with the 6th being a flyer.

    25 grs was about the same as 23gr as far as group, 4-5 iinches. I shot them last.

    Here's the 24gr load. I pulled one off the paper. I had setup my chrony and shot some 38's over it to test it and the stupid thing was'nt working. I may have a low battery or something. Maybe it didn't like 10 degree temperature. So unfortunately I don't have chrony numbers. Load data chart says 24gr is 1447 fps. The load data for my 45 Colt load says 1151 and I get that in my 4" barrel. I'm guessing 1400fps?? Who knows for sure. All I do know is this load shoots better than my 1150 45 Load.



    After shooting these I then shot about 20 275gr over 11gr Unique I had loaded up for plinkin in the levergun. Accurate and fun. I then shot 6 of my 45 Colt 21.5gr H110, 355gr loads. I swear the recoil seemed more harsh than the 454 loads. Bottom line is I'd rather shoot the 24gr 454's than the 21.5gr 45 Colts and the 454 loads group closerto 2 inches whereas the 45 Colt loads group closer to 5 inches.

    All these loads are sooty. I may try 26gr to see what happens. Plus, I have the "454 Snyd" in the works which is a shortened 454 case with these 355ers that will cycle in the levergun.

    Anyway, I've got lots more work/fun to do loading and shooting this thing but my first impressions are very favorable. Time to cast some boolits and burn some powder!

  2. #2

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    Excellent report Snyd. I am considering a trade for a Redhawk. They seem like exceptional guns.
    Keep us posted on further developements.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Sounds great.As I recall we loaded 32gr of 296 with 340gr bullets in second crimp groove for our hottest 454 loads.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Sounds great.As I recall we loaded 32gr of 296 with 340gr bullets in second crimp groove for our hottest 454 loads.
    Sounds like the Lyman 452651 with the 2 crimp grooves? I've got one of those molds I've been fighting to get to good fillout. I sent it back to Lyman last summer since it was dropping at .450-.451 with any alloy at any temp basically. They "sort of" fixed it. I've been able to beagle it some and get some decent boolits that are mostly .452 except the forward driving band. They are 340 checked and lubed. with ww or 5/1 ww/lino. I'll be experimenting with that one. I got 1900+ fps with cast performance 335gr in the levergun with 28gr H110 I think it was. 32gr 296/H110 has got to be one smoking hot round!

    Have you ever experimented with 400gr low velocity loads? I'd like to size down a Lyman 405 .458 to 452 and try it around 1000-1100 and see how it is for penetration and recoil compared to say a 1400-1500fps 335-350gr load.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    We were useing the JD Jones bullet and his and Larry Kelly loads at the time,nothing at 400gr at that time 1991.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  6. #6
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    Snyd,

    I'd be interested in any comparisons you observe between the two guns, when it comes to stabilizing heavy bullets from both barrels.

    As you stated above, the RH .45C barrel has a 1/16" twist, while the SRH .454 barrel has a 1/24" twist. Back when the .454 was being designed, maximum velocity was the goal, and most .45 caliber bullets were only 250-260 grains, so a 1/24" twist was chosen. But now, bullet weight is king, with some .45 caliber slugs weighing almost 400 grains.

    Does your "new" RH .454 with 1/16" twist handle long heavy slugs better?
    Do "standard" SRH .454 barrels with 1/24" twist fully stabilize slugs weighing over 350 grains?

    It might require some penetration testing in gelatin or moose to determine proper stability?
    Bullets that fly thru air and paper just fine, often yaw and tumble when they actually run into something thicker.

    Thanx for posting about such an interesting "project"!

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    I have a Ruger Alaskan in .454 and i love it! Great little gun with a loud voice!

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